Tuesday, July 6, 2010

part one: table top

if you read carefully, you would have read that i had a coffee table to do and that i wanted to do it before may. what i really meant was before august. so here we are.

this table is a commission for some friends of ours who recently got married. the design is based on a jens risom table from 1959.

i've tweaked the design a bit, but i've also kept the principal elements of it. one thing that really drew me to this table is the elegant base with the floating top. another detail that we (claire and i) really liked was the rap-around pencil roll.

i finished the top yesterday, so i thought that i would give a little photo tour of it.

here are the two planks that will make up the table. the one in the foreground has produced the parts for the base; and the other, the top. the one is a little darker then the other, a fact that i'll accentuate with the finish.

the old fashioned way, or i don't have any other way to do it.

i split the portion of the one plank for the top on an angle to get at a more rift sawn face. there is some really nice color in this piece.

sawing the veneers on my old beast of a saw. things got a little hot on the top wheel. live and learn.

i veneered this using some torsion boxes and clamps and cauls. it went pretty well.

the top received some applied edges with the pencil roll shaped into them. these and the top received a groove to align the parts come glue up.

my beloved mouse from mr. don. a most handy tool indeed. here it was used to mark where the top and the applied edge meet.

the initial profile was wasted out on the router table. after this, there was alot of hand work to bring the shape into existence.

some of the tools used to carve the inside corner of the pencil roll. i debated whether or not a miter in the corner would be advantageous in this situation, but i decided against it.

after the shape was in the applied edges, it was off to finishing. i wanted to keep the top light, so i went with shellac and wax. i've got about 15 coats of shellac, and i'm still waxing. the table will come with it's own set of custom coasters.

the top has a series of slip matches on both sides of center and then a random match down the middle. the random match was by far the nicest option. it created a sort of an eye in the center of the table and some nice tan lines running almost parallel along the length of the table.